Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hand-me-downs and character

We had a lovely visit with our oldest daughter, Rebekah, aka Beck, Cyn-Beck, Becky, Debbie -- whatever comes out and it's usually Cyn-Beck (here sister's name is Cyndi - Cyn for short). If I'm with Cyndi, she's Beck-Cyn. Always been that way.

My mom did the same thing, so did my father. Call out all the children's names until you get to the one you want. Exception, in anger you always get it correct because you include the middle name of the child, such as Judith Anne, or John Mark, or Carl David, or Deborah Rose (accent on the "bor").

Back to the visit with my daughter and the topic in the title. My daughter is her mother's child. She is a collector of things, though not as many as her mom, simply because she hasn't the room. But furniture -- she will accept almost anything that "belonged in the family" and put it to good and beautiful use.

These family pieces are all old -- at least 75 years old -- many even older, and they have character and stamina. They were built to last, and last they have. I don't think it's that we have taken better care of them than other furniture. I tend to think -- this is the last sofa I'm going to get and take really good care of it. Or this is the last table I'm going to get, and I take really good care of it. I think that's the way I was raised. We had little, and what we did have, we took care of.

I tried to talk her out of -- or trading with me -- my mom's china cabinet -- or as Daniel, her oldest called it -- the "chinese" cabinet, trading with me for Alan's grandfather's china cabinet. I love the Hahn cabinet, believe me, I love it. I've had it in my home and properly displayed for over 40 years. It contains a bell collection, or what's left of it -- I drastically downsized it when we moved to our condominium -- and the family heirlooms from my mother and his mother that are displayed there. I use the useables, such as goblets, teacups, and platters. But, she said of all the family pieces, that's the one she likes the best. Good taste!

So, my dear daughter is trying to reorganize her home to make it better to use for school. She recently acquired a 1950s sofa and chair, the upholstery is in great shape, and the furniture is sturdy. It just isn't our "style." But, hey, it's functional, and for now it will work just fine.

Well, she has put this new acquisition on her sun-porch which is the school room. But there are no desks or tables, and I have the PERFECT table for her.

Years ago, oh, probably 25 years ago, Alan purchased a "game" table -- a square table with a marble top which he has used for playing chess on. Ans when my daughter Cyndi was trying to "catch" her husband Shandon, she used it to serve dinner for two to him. It was in a secluded corner of the living room -- a room no one was permitted to enter unless we were having a party.

I have always had a problem with (1) where to put the table; and (2) it just isn't my style. matches PERFECTLY the new furniture that Becky has. So, I suggested that I send that table to her for use for school. It has two chairs that go with it -- it used to have four, but they were spindly things and supported only a person who weighs less than 100 pounds. Get the picture? Anyway, I offered it. She haggled back and forth with me -- she has trouble accepting things like that. After all, it's not really a FAMILY piece.

Then we got to talking and I told her I was getting rid of my good china -- all 18 place settings. And that I had found a home for it. Well, she was not pleased. I couldn't figure it out. And I couldn't figure it out because my mind hasn't been thinking future generations of Hahns. She was thinking HER daughters or Amy's daughters or Cyndi's daughters. I'm not sure the latter two ladies' daughters would be interested, but there you have it. She has the same china -- 12 settings. I have 18. I couldn't figure what she would do with 30 place settings. And, maybe her daughters won't want that particular pattern. Times change. I certainly didn't want my mom's wedding china -- EVER.

So, I shall divide up the china and give some to the person I had found that wanted it, and the rest Becky can store until such time as her children decide they want something better.

So you don't think I'm an absolute dork about my grandchildren -- I was saving my silver for them.

We left loving one another, and agreeing that I would be on the look out for family pieces to add to her home.


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